May 16, 2014

Stuff and Things 5/16/14

Life as I know it
Okay, so I'm totally living it up in my fantabulous new house and I'm doing all sorts of new house-y things and...

Okay, I kid. I'm writing this on Wednesday because I figure I'll probably be way too busy/distracted tomorrow, and while I don't normally mind skipping a Stuff and Things post, I'm less than 24 hours away from closing so I've got the kind of nervousness that grips at your stomach and makes you feel a little bit sick. Kind of like when I put in the offer actually. Part of me is convinced that something is going to go terribly, terribly wrong, since nothing has gone exactly smooth in this experience. So if I happened to have Instagrammed some insomnia cupcakes at 3 in the morning yesterday, this is why.

Let's move on to the pop culture, shall we?

UPDATE: It did not go smooth. Of course it didn't go smooth. This time it was because the sellers had some weird mom & pop mortgage company that refused to cough up the pay off figures. But everything's all set now and I own a house and my kitchen table was still in the antique store! The house needs a little love, but that's what next week's for.
Left to right: The key; the sightline from the living room, through the dining room library, into the kitchen; my new kitchen; my new walk-in pantry complete with spice racks.

Movies- Beyond this point, there be spoilers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Why is Black Widow standing like that?
I don't know, it was a bit meh. Like standard action movie meh. I was not as impressed as I was with the first one.

Things I liked: Falcon (I do what he does, just slower). The Cap/Widow dynamic (not romantic, almost more like siblings. Nat definitely was acting like the older sister). Nick Fury being badass. Robert Redford as the baddy. Cap's most heroic moment being one where he chooses not to fight.

Things I didn't like: Black Widow's characterization. I felt like they weren't sure what to do with her. Like the writers were all, "wait, so she's sexy and she kicks ass, but she's not a romantic interest? Wtf am I supposed to do with that? I guess we'll give her some sassy one-liners and use her as a plot device. Oh and let's figure out a way to make her kiss Steve anyway." Urgh. I can't say that I wasn't expecting it, though. The superhero movie genre has a long history of doing really poorly with female heroes (which is weird, since they have plenty of source material to draw from). There were a couple glaring moments that seemed completely out of character, too. Like, crying in the hospital. Yeah, Nat would be upset, but showing weakness in front of others? Please. If it had been just Steve, maybe I could buy it, but they've shown no reason that she would trust Agent Hill. The next was at the Apple store (and, may I ask, did Widow always have hacking skills? Because that felt really plot device-y), when she said, "the guy who designed this was slightly smarter than me. Slightly," or something like that. No, nononono. That's something Tony Stark says. Natasha is an international superspy assassin. She knows there are people a lot smarter than her. She can admit that. Overestimating your own skills--or letting your partner do the same-- is a good way to get killed. 

The last you could make an argument for, but it still felt really out of character to me, was when Natasha jeopardized the mission when her own life was in danger. First of all, the badges being bombs or whatever was really obvious. If I could see that and Nat couldn't, there's a problem. She should have seen it coming. Secondly, while you can argue that Natasha has only ever looked out for herself, they set up the story of the Winter Soldier with a story of how she almost died to protect her mark. So you tell us about how she nearly dies to save one person, but then she balks when it comes to saving 20 million people, including some she would see as allies, and maybe even as friends? That whole bit just did not feel right to me, and I think we can chalk that up to bad writing.

But I'm okay with the part where she sasses Congress. Because that she would totally do.

And there were two things I left feeling really confused about. 1) Steve and Sam seemed really super friendly for a first meeting. Even the way Nat greeted him in the beginning seemed weirdly familiar. Maybe they were just running buddies that never got a chance to actually introduce themselves before, but it just came off a bit odd to me. Had they spoken before? I get Sam being friendly because it's Captain America and all, but they just came off more like people with history. And then when Steve and Nat need a place to crash because the entirety of SHIELD is after them, he goes to the dude's house he met running three days ago? I feel like I'm missing something there.

2) The Winter Soldier. For all that this is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they really don't talk much about the Winter Soldier. Nat said everyone in the intelligence agency has heard these stories over the past 50 years. So, what, the Nazis rescued Bucky, they gave him a new arm (with tech that seems a little advanced, but I guess we'll list that under suspension of disbelief) and put him in cryo for 20 years (I'm starting to think Hydra stole tech from Torchwood), and then went, "gosh, we need to kill this dude, hey what about that dude we have on ice for no reason I can understand, I guess we'll use our sci-fi B movie tech and wipe his memories because that's totally a thing we can do and hope that he does what we say, and then we'll put him back in cryo"? The only explanation we got was that Hydra did a rather nebulous "something" to Bucky when his unit was captured. I am not satisfied with that.

Can we just give all the superhero movies to Joss Whedon from now on?

Castle- Are you serious. Are you actually serious. The show is called Castle. When it ended the announcer voice said, "Castle and Beckett will return solving murders this fall," but you expect me to believe that Castle died in a fiery crash? That episode was so predictable and you end it with a not-so-cliffhangy cliff hanger? And of course it has to be right before the wedding so Beckett shows up to the crime scene in her wedding dress because apparently I'm watching a soap opera and not a procedural drama, and it's not like that's a thing that has happened on every drama ever.

Ugh. I just got finished telling a friend that Castle is not Bones and did not suck after they got together, but this season has been mostly let down, and that finale the let-downiest episode. Don't sacrifice content for drama, why is that a difficult concept?

And, here's a revolutionary idea, not every season needs to end on a "will they survive?" It's old now. Played out. I know they'll live. Come up with a new shtick.

Supernatural- I thought that Sam and Cas were cool with letting Dean shake hands with Gadreel because they wanted Gadreel dead. WTF HAVE YOU BEEN WARNING AGAINST IF YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING, SAM???? Because I did. When Dean went to shake his hand I was all, "NOOOO, you need all the allies you can get and he can get to Metatron don't let Dean near him what are you doing."

Although, I did love the LotR reference. And the Indiana Jones one (Last Crusade was the best). And Cas is "very pop culture savvy now"

Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven is a prime number and I assume that can be very intimidating.

Arrow- Hhjasjkdnalkenfldesf. Way to play with my feels, you guys. I mean, with Ollie and Felicity and Ollie's all like, "You're the woman I love." And I'm all like whaaaaaaaaaaat are you even that must be some kind of play, he did that on purpose, he's, I don't know, he's tricking her so she stays safe or something, I mean I love Felicity but Sara. And then Slade's all, "Muahahaha, I have the woman you love. And I know it's really Felicity." And I was just like nooooooooooo, Slade if you kill Felicity, I will slap you in your coocoo bananas face. And then like 2 seconds before Felicity stabbed him with the cure, I was like, "I get it, he bugged the house!"

But then Sara left again. T-T I don't like Nyssa. She's Ra's al Ghul's spawn. She's no good. You belong in Starling City, Sara, don't leave me, you're giving me abandonment issues. And she gave the leather jacket to Laurel and said Ollie needs him. Ollie and Laurel cannot get together. The first time, Ollie ran away from her. On a boat. And got marooned on a hellish island for five years. The second time, Tommy died. Ollie and Laurel are a well established BAD IDEA. Sara needs to come back, I already miss her little assassin face, but OH NO QUENTIN LANCE DON'T YOU DARE DIE ON ME I CAN'T LOSE THE ONLY OTHER DECENT CHARACTER IN THE LANCE FAMILY.

And then Ollie leaves Slade in a prison... on the island? And it turns out Argus had a base on the island all along... those little sh*ts. Who wasn't on the island?

And yay adorable baby Diggle! And yay Thea's leaving forever, because I can't do anymore Thea tantrums. The girl is actually five, and not in a good way.

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